Family law in California is unique to the state, meaning that precedents or rules that apply elsewhere are not necessarily relevant during divorce. Some rules or procedures might be similar to those in other states, but one area in particular stands out. Unlike most states, California follows the community property concept for property division.
There are many steps that go into planning a wedding, but thinking about divorce usually is not one of them. This could actually be a mistake. California couples may want to look ahead at more than just future jobs or children and, in particular, consider what property division should look like during divorce. This outlook might strike some as distinctly unromantic or pessimistic, but it can actually prove beneficial in the long run.
Staying in an unhappy marriage is a burden that no one in California should have to bear. However, couples over the age of 50 may not feel as if they have any other choice. Even for a person who is relatively well-off may worry about what finances will look like after a divorce. Much of this worry centers around how money and other valuable assets will be split during property division.
Married couples spend years and even decades accumulating joint assets. From family homes to shared vehicles to living room furniture, the number of assets that are considered community property can be quite high. This can be overwhelming when going through the divorce process. However, having a better understanding of California state law in regard to property division ease some people's concerns.
Inheritances are often deeply personal, and most have significant amounts of both financial and emotional wealth. For these reasons, protecting an inheritance during marriage and divorce is essential. It is not uncommon for a California resident to file for divorce and then discover that his or her inheritance is considered community property, and as such subject to property division.
Creating a prenuptial agreement is a good idea for many California couples. However, maybe you did not think you needed one or did not understand the full range of benefits associated with a prenup. Even if you initially decided against a prenup, it is not too late. You can still address family law matters like property division and more through a postnuptial agreement.
Retirement assets generally comprise a sizable portion of California couples' assets. When it comes time to divorce, how to treat these assets during property division is a serious question. Most people want to avoid taking any penalties or encountering tax consequences for making withdrawals, but are unsure of how to do so. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order is usually the solution.
Divorce is an unavoidable part of life for some people, but it does not have to be a wholly negative experience. While many California couples understandably struggle with the emotional aspect of ending a marriage, a measured and careful approach to property division can make the legal side of things somewhat easier. However, even those individuals who are focused on preserving their financial stability after divorce can overlook something very important -- retirement.
Financial security following a divorce is an issue that should not be overlooked. It can be easy to overlook the small details or long-term implications of decisions made during property division, particularly when the initial effects might feel immediate. However, forgetting about things like credit scores and how these numbers can impact future finances can lead to undesirable outcomes for California residents.
Divorce is more than just a legal process to separate the lives of a married couple. For many people in California it is also an emotional journey, which can make addressing things like property division difficult. From angry exes to questionable information about assets, here are a few things that can help make the divorce process better.